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Rachel Murphy
March 6, 2018

Procuring Digital Outcomes – #AgileP

Procuring Digital Outcomes – #AgileP 6

Difrent ran their first Unconference yesterday bringing together an eclectic group of public and private sector bods to discuss the challenge of digital delivery using outcomes; an event dubbed #AgileP.

A cracking event space was secured at National Archives, well worth others looking at this for similar events, the auditorium holds 100, an adjoining room for a further 35 and lots of sofa snugs for breakout groups.

I was keen we ran this session as an Unconference, and that we secured the ‘unconference legend’ Janet Hughes to help us on our way. For about 50% of our attendees, it was their first Unconference! It was great to see them in action during the day, fabulous energy from start to finish!

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I opened up and talked about the challenges we have in being held accountable for delivery when the method of delivery is not within our gift. I was delighted a member of the public had opted to join us having heard the horizon podcast (Mark Chillingworth) on this subject last year. He was really wanting to understand how the public was getting VFM from our procurement practices, a fair comment we all agreed.

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We had some great pitches to kick off the day and settled on 10 break out groups covering the following topics;

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I jumped into one of the first sessions on culture and how do we drive this change. Fabulous debate spanning discussions around;

  1. Appetite for business risk
  2. Going to procurement rather than expecting them to pitch up with Digital teams
  3. Multidisciplinary teams (essential)
  4. Community creation — smaller meetups, blogging, video stories etc
  5. Hippie movement (Steven Docherty and I felt kindred spirits here, not sure yet what this consists of but I’m sure we will have a coffee and find out!)
  6. Supporting CCS Roadshow with real-life examples

Procuring Digital Outcomes – #AgileP 2

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Listening in on other sessions during the day my takeaways were expanded further to include:

  1. A real willingness to work together to solve this problem
  2. A feeling this was a similar journey to the one IT and Digital were on a few years ago
  3. That HR may well be in the same place as Procurement (one for you Rita ✌️)
  4. Great energy from everyone who attended and contributed via social media
  5. A desire to make public services the best in the world
  6. Delighted we had Joe Public in the room (this really felt like we were hearing from the public wanted from us)
  7. This wasn’t exclusively a public sector challenge
  8. A desire to reform ‘IT category’ to include Tech and Digital
  9. It was great having such a receptive team from Crown Commercial Services with us yesterday — Chris Short and Emilia Cedeno.
  10. We need more front line doers (Procurement and Digital) involved
  11. Digital bods need to get along to procurement events — infiltrate (in a nice way)
  12. Unconferences are a great way of sharing, learning and listening

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So in response to Janet’s question; ‘it feels a little like progress, at the very least momentum’ and a commitment from me to get out and have a look at how procurement works over the next 12 weeks, attend some events in their world, talk to more procurement people, maybe even host a meet up — action not words methinks!

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